Utah Down Syndrome Foundation Buddy Walk

UDSF Buddy Walk 2011

So… I like to be on Twitter at 11:30 at night. And later. Generally at that time I’ve ran out of the normal online time wasters, and if I’m not working on the Walk Beside Me LDS Preschool… well, I tweet. Anyway, it was about this time when Rachel Coleman (@ST_Rachel) , creator/director/actor/signer extrodinaire tweeted this:

Team Signing Time SLC: Lucy is coming to the show tomorrow~ please remember she’s sensitive to crowds & noise. Smile, wave & speak softly:)

Of course my heart got all palpity (not a word. should be a word.) and I eagerly tweeted back for more info. Rachel, performing in Salt Lake? We are so there. Rachel was super sweet and sent me all the info I needed. She would be performing and walking at the UDSF Buddy Walk to support and raise money for Down Syndrome. I don’t personally know anyone with Down Syndrome–but those who I have met with this syndrome are truly some of the sweetest, most Christ-like people I’ve met. Add Rachel Coleman, and I am there. 

I guess I need to back up. Just who is Rachel Coleman and why was I so giddy at midnight?

Rachel Coleman is Signing Time.

Signing Time Full Collection

Signing Time is an amazing, award winning program that teaches ASL in a kid friendly format. The songs are catchy, and the DVDs are plentiful (so you don’t get sick of hearing the same thing again and again). I discovered this series when Nicole was little. We started her with Baby Signing Time. By the time she was 2.5, she had hundreds of signs memorized. She is verbally advanced, and I credit Signing Time for that. Recently we started putting on Baby Signing Time for Abigail. She has taken to it like a kid and a popsicle on a summer day. She asks for “Ah-nie” (Signing Time) first thing in the morning. In the few weeks since she’s started watching it, she’s picked up dozens of signs and her oral language is blooming too.

Suffice it to say, I love Signing Time. The chance to meet Rachel Coleman is like meeting an A-List celebrity for me! The Buddy Walk itself was so fantastic. We paid a small cover charge ($10 per adult, $5 for kids), and received a T-shirt, a napsack, and a water bottle. All the carnival games and the catered lunch from Red Robin was included at this price.

Oh, and snowcones, cotton candy, Creamies, and popcorn, too. I seriously don’t think my kids have ever gotten away with eating so much junk in a day. They got prizes for games, and Rebecca even got her nails painted.

Between meeting Rachel, Alex, Leah, and Hopkins,

as well as Abigail being loved on by sweet Lucy,

and the well-coordinated games and activities, my kids were on 7th Heaven. This will definitely be an annual event for us. We got to particapate in the Buddy Walk after Rachel performed. Everyone lined up and walked around the big park. The line was so long that the beginning eventually met up with the end of the line. Many people came out to show support for specific individuals with Down Syndrome; and coordinated special shirts or outfits to show their. How special for a child with DS to see the many people who love them!

  1. Abigail and I on the Buddy Walk
  2. Nicole jumping to Rachel’s singing about Turtle Rock
  3. Sleepy Abigail waiting for Signing Time to begin
  4. Jordan–with a train stamp on his head, naturally.
  5. Jordan on stage helping Rachel sign “surprise!”
  6. Alex and Leah on the Buddy Walk
  7. Rebecca, Nicole, and Abigail signing together
  8. Rebecca signs the ‘a’ in her name
  9. Ah… photo op! Can I insist we match for all family outings?
  10. Abigail ‘fingerspelling’ “Rachel”
  11. Jordan takes Abigail on a train ride

Want to try Signing Time to see if it’s right for your child? Get a 7 day rental for $1.99 per episode at Amazon.com!

Signing Time Early Literacy Bundle

Additional signing activities to try!

Why sign with your children?

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3 Responses to Utah Down Syndrome Foundation Buddy Walk

  1. Noah's Dad says:


    I just came across your blog and your buddy walk looked like it was AWESOME! We are watching those with our little Noah now, he is having a blast!

    Also we are planning on doing the buddy walk in Dallas here as well. This will be our first one, and it’s exciting.

    By the way our little boy was born with down syndrome and we do a daily one minute video every day to show the word that down syndrome is ok!

    We look forward to connecting with you guys!

    (Noah’s Dad)

    • Rick,
      Thanks so much for stopping by! We truly LOVED the Buddy Walk, but I think I love your blog a little bit more. Lol. Your son is so adorable, and my eleven year old son wanted to tell you he likes your blog. Huge compliment, lol. I’ll definitely be following along as your little guy grows!

  2. […] Completely unrelated to what I’m doing on the computer, Nicole is playing with our Signing Time flashcards right now. Signing Time movies (and flashcards and books!) are perfect for preschoolers learning their ABCs. All fifty thousand of them. We have a stack of Signing Time DVDs 2 inches thick next to our DVD player in our bedroom. We take the books to church. In a pinch, we used the ‘stop’ and ‘go’ flashcards for music time at church when the music leader forgot her signs for the singing game! We have even met Rachel, Alex, Leah, and Hopkins! […]

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